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McHenry Named Dean of Nursing

April 1, 2013

McHenry currently serves as the assistant director and a clinical instructor for the University of Arkansas' Eleanor Mann School of Nursing in Fayetteville, where she has been on the faculty since 1993.

"We look forward to working with Lepaine McHenry at OBU as we enter a period of anticipated growth in the College of Nursing," said OBU President David W. Whitlock. "She is a visionary leader with a can-do attitude."

A doctoral candidate at Union University, McHenry is working toward a doctorate in nursing practice with a specialty in executive leadership, with an expected graduation in May 2014. She earned an associate degree in nursing from Southern Arkansas University in 1981; a bachelor's of science in nursing degree from the University of Arkansas in 1993; and a master's of science in nursing degree from University of Oklahoma-Tulsa in 1996. Her area of specialty is psychiatric mental health nursing.

"Lepaine McHenry will provide the type of vision and leadership that will build upon our great legacy of nursing education to move us forward into the new challenges confronting us in health care education," said Dr. Stan Norman, OBU provost and executive vice president for campus life.

At the University of Arkansas, she has served as assistant director of the School of Nursing since 2009. She served as a full-time faculty member from 1993-2000, and on the adjunct clinical faculty from 2002-06. She was an online graduate nursing adjunct faculty member for Regis University from 2007-09. She has served in nursing legal consultation for various law firms since 1998.

McHenry's medical practice included work at Charter Vista Hospital in Fayetteville from 1989-93 as a staff nurse in the adult psychiatric program, staff development director, interim adult addictive disease nurse manager, interim children's program manager, interim human resources director and nursing education coordinator. Her previous practice included long-term care with Millspaugh and Associates and Rose Care, Inc.; director of nursing and in-service education coordinator with Apple Tree Inn Nursing Home; oncology charge and staff nurse and head nurse, recuperative care skilled unit with Washington Regional Medical Center; charge nurse with Union Medical Center; and staff nurse, surgical unit, with University of Missouri Health-Science Center. She is a certified long term care nurse administrator and certified for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation with the American Heart Association.

"I am truly excited about the opportunity to serve as the dean of nursing at OBU," McHenry said. "The College of Nursing has a rich, noteworthy history, and is well respected among nursing leaders. Health care services are moving toward outcomes. Research has demonstrated better patient outcomes when cared for by a baccalaureate prepared registered nurse. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has recommended by 2020 that 80 percent of the nursing workforce be prepared at the baccalaureate level. OBU has an opportunity to make a significant contribution to this recommendation by increasing the BSN nurse workforce impacting care outcomes across the country."

"Also, the IOM is recommending that we double the number of nurses with a doctorate degree by 2020," McHenry said. "OBU is clearly positioned to take the helm and prepare nurses that will assume leadership roles in the nursing profession whether in education, practice or regulation. I look forward to building on pass successes to accomplish the core values of OBU by providing a Christ Centered, Excellence Driven, Learning Focused, Mission Purposed and Community Directed nursing program that will not only meet the needs of our community, state and nation, but also the world."

McHenry has received many awards and honors, including the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing 2010 Service Award; American Association of Collegiate Nursing Leadership Academic Nursing Program Fellow in 2009; Outstanding Volunteer Award for NWA Junior League in 2004; Outstanding Young Arkansan in 1999; Fayetteville's Young Top Five Professionals in 1999; Eleanor Mann School of Nursing Research Award in 1998; and the University of Oklahoma Outstanding Academic Achievement in 1996, among others.

She is the founding president of the Arkansas Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care. She served as vice president and committee chair for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing from 2005-08; as past president of the Arkansas Society for Healthcare Educators in 1994; and as a board member of the Arkansas Nursing Home Nurses Association from 1991-93. Her professional affiliations include the Arkansas Nurses Association; the American Association of Long Term Care Nurses; and Sigma Theta Tu, Pi Theta Chapter.

McHenry has served on many journal editorial/advisory boards, including the Geriatric Nursing Editorial Advisory Board from 1997-2005; The Director, the official publication of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care; University of Arkansas Black Alumni Society Board member; PLAVIX Long Term Care Advisory Board; Aventis Long Term Care Advisory Board; Janseen and Janseen LTC Quality Initiatives in Clinical Practice; Norvatis LTC Advisory Board; and Solvay/Wyeth Senior Care Advisory Board.

Her academic service includes numerous committees at various levels, including the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing; the College of Education and Health Professions; and the University of Arkansas. Her community service includes the Board of Trustees for the Leader Training Institute of America; Fayetteville Christian School Board; Community Clinic at St. Francis House; and Washington County Tea Party. She is president-elect of the Junior League of Northwest Arkansas.

At the state level, she was appointed by Gov. Mike Huckabee to serve on the Arkansas Minority Health Commission; the Long Term Care Facility Advisory Board; the Arkansas State Board of Nursing; and the Governor's Roundtable on Healthcare. She is an executive school board member of the Arkansas Virtual Academy. At the national level, she has served as vice president, treasurer and corresponding secretary of the National Association of Directors of Nursing Administration; and she served as a committee member, committee chair, delegate and vice president of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

McHenry is an author and contributor to numerous scholarly writings and research projects, as well as an in-demand professional workshop presenter and speaker.